Gumbo's Pic of the Day, July 22, 2014: Columbia Icefields, Alberta

The Ice Explorer. Columbia Icefields

 

Nestled in the Canadian Rockies, between the northwestern tip of Banff National Park and the southern end of Jasper National Park, is the Columbia Icefield. This is a large glaciated area astride the Continental Divide of North America which covers about 325 km² in area, is 100 to 365 meters (328 to 1,197 ft) in depth and receives up to seven meters (275 in) of snowfall per year.

 

A visit to the Icefields is an experience you won't soon forget!  You can take a specialized vehicle onto the glacier called the Ice Explorer, a massive machine originally designed for polar exploration.  The company that runs the glacier trips spots out a safe area each day that is free of crevices and is safe to walk around on, so you have the rare experience of being able to safely and freely walk on ice in the middle of a vast sheet of ice.  A truly once in a lifetime experience and a must see when visit Canadian Rockies.  Winter clothes is a must even when visiting in summer.

 

The Ice Explorer. Columbia Icefields

The surface of the Glacier, Columbia Icefield

The surface of the Glacier, Columbia Icefield

The surface of the Glacier, Columbia Icefield

 

The Columbia Icefields

The Columbia Icefields

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Hi Garry, if you came in the mid of Canadian winter, the glacier ice field will look no difference to rest of the country .   So, walk on the glacier ice under the hot summer sun is much more thrill! 

Yes, during last visit,  we were told that the Columbia Ice Field glacier is receding.    

Great photos Dr Y. Is this an all year tourist resort or would I freeze to death in winter ?

I presume this remains sub zero all year due to its elevation.

Does it contain any wildlife ? Is it receding with warmer weather ?

We see pictures of areas where glacier ice is disappearing but there are areas we don't see where it's on the increase. I remember being taught about shifting ice regions in the 1950's and all this alarmist talk today seems to be just a continuation of normality.

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